We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! in Hong Kong

You learn something new every day, and all I knew about modern Italian theater was Pirandello and Ionesco (was he even Italian), the Commedia delle Arte, Pulcinella and Columbina. This is 99% more than most Americans but not enough. We know more about Italian cinema, of course. So little did I know about Dario Fo, who won a Nobel for his work.

Under the direction of Meaghan McGurgan, a troupe has done a wonderful job here in Hong Kong with We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!, a sort of Italian version of the Honeymooners or the Flintstones, about daily no-money desperation, reproduction, the omnipresence of Catholicism in Italy and how it leads to reproduction and desperation.

The lovely and talented Nicole Garbellini-West owns the stage. I first saw her in These Actors of Mine and was honored to play opposite her Toni Roma in Glengarry. We are both physical, rangy, tall actors who tend to prowl and own the stage.

Aisling McDonnell was also stellar as a policeman, the Pope and an old lady. A young Irish girl she has quite a range.

Daniel Jade-Levia as the policeman showed his professionalism, since I failed to recognize him although he was Moss in the Glengarry.

Krishna Moriani is a shockingly young and shockingly talented actor. I hope he doesn’t become a chemical engineer although he might be a good one.

The stage lighting and in particular the use of levels under Meaghan’s direction all first rate.

I auditioned for a role and didn’t get it because I was completely unfamiliar with Dario Fo. But these semipro leagues are tough and time consuming. I lost a lot of weight on Glengarry. My next role shall be Escalus in Measure for Measure if all goes as planned. I have also written an inconsequential little Agon for a new production of small ten minute plays about smoking and coffee.

If my life is a crowded fire, it is high time to shout Theater! As in a dream the lost Prince follows the actors to save his life as they travel through Sweden of the Black Death re-enacting the Fall of Man. As in a dream the Professor hangs about the stage door.


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